Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Starless: The 1947 Pittsburgh Steelers

By John Turney
We love to promote football literature, especially historical NFL literature. Today we feature Steve Massey's ode to the 1947 Steelers. The book actually came out last Fall but we didn't get it read until recently.

Massey documents the team was didn't have a star player but was strong in the football ethic of unit cohesion. And despite the austerity of Jock Sutherland (who passed away soon after the 1947 season). The '47 iteration of the Steelers were the first playoff team in franchise history and the last great single-wing team.

Massey writes about the inception of the Steelers came to be and also coins a phrase called "Steelore" which is the long list of stories about the franchise. Some stories about Johnny Unitas that we've heard are true and in the case of Johnny Blood McNally, many are not accurate. The yarns are very interesting and mostly unknown to us.

The book also covers the 1946 season and the hiring of Jock Sutherland and the departure of Bill Dudley who feuded with Sutherland (the coach and de facto GM).  The 1946 season set the table for the 1947 success of the Steelers

Additionally, the book does a fine job of bios about the Steeler players who were very young (16 were 25 and under). There are detailed accounts of the games and what happened in each and some profiles of the NFL's major stars like Sammy Baugh. 

It's well done and a quick read (263 pages) with lots of new information and well-written prose. We highly recommend it. 

A link to buy the book is HERE.

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